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NEWS AND NOTES
MORE OF SIMPLIFIED SPELLING
On March 24, 1913, the Simplified Spelling Board issued a fourth
list of recommended spellings. A part of the circular is reproduced
herewith. Those who wish further information may address 1 Madison
Ave., New York City. All the publications of the Board except the
periodical Bulletin are free.
The Simplified Spelling Board, with the approval of its Advisory Council,
now recommends the additional simplifications of spelling containd in the
folloing Fourth List.
The First List (the Three Hundred Words), publisht in 1006 (latest ed.
1007, Circular No. 1 5), was not a list of newly simplified forms, but a selection
of simpler forms alredy in good use — namely, in three hundred out of more
than three thousand words at that time commonly speld in two or more ways.
It was, in the greater part, a selection of the spellings preferd and used by the
three principal American dictionaries, and alredy in majority use thruout
the United States.
The Second List, publisht on January 29, 1908 (Circular No. 18), con-
taind a considerable number of simplified spellings that might be cald 'inno-
vations.' But the simplified forms it containd wer strictly in accord with the
existing rules and analogies of English spelling, and wer for the most part
restorations of simplifications formerly in high literary use. No new rule or
analogy, and therefore, no real innovation, was introduced.
The wide acceptance of the Three Hundred Words and of the Second List
made it desirable to publish a more extensiv list, including classes of words
in which regulation was much demanded and could not be postponed. Accord-
ingly the Board, with the approval of the Advisory Council, publisht the Third
List, January 25, 1909 (Circular No. 22). The three lists wer then put together
in one Alfabetic List, and publisht March 6, 1909 (Circular No. 23).
These lists hav been circulated in several hundred thousand copies, and hav
been in effect a supplementary spelling-book or orthografic dictionary for more
than one hundred thousand persons. They hav also been used by many
business firms and corporations, who hav instructed or permitted their clerks
to use these simplified forms, or some of them, in their correspondence.
After publishing the Third List, the Board thought it would be wel to
withhold further recommendations until the practis of simplified spelling
should spred more widely, and until the agitation in Great Britain and Canada
should gain strength. Meantime, the Executiv Committee, in cooperation
with the members of the Board and the Advisory Council, undertook the
formation of a provisional Vocabulary of Simplified Spellings, intended to
NEWS AND NOTES 395
include all the ordinary words of the English language that admit any simpli-
fication of spelling, according to the existing rules and analogies, and without
increasing the present alfabet. The Vocabulary was formd; it has been
repeatedly revised; and it is in condition to be publisht, when it shal appear
that the supporters of the general cause ar redy to accept it.
In preparation for the future it has appeard desirable to publish now a
Fourth List of simplifications, which shal remove many minor irregularities
and thus clear the ground for the work that remains to be done.
When the simplified forms of this Fourth List ar printed in one alfabetic
order with the preceding alfabetic List (No. 23), the combined list wil then
form an important part of the proposed Vocabulary of Simplified Spellings,
and wil afford a large basis of agreement and adjustment among the bodies
now engaged in the promotion of the general cause.
It should be distinctly understood that the proposed Vocabulary of Simpli-
fied Spellings can not present a complete and final rationalization of English
spelling. Before that can be done, there must be a definit decision upon the
alfabetic question. Meanwhile, however, much can be done with the alfabet
as it is, with the rules and analogies as they ar. We can define the limits of
'simplified spelling,' not for all time, but for the immediate future. We hav
drawn the minimum limits. By this Fourth List we extend the limits, not
very far, but safely and surely. Some striking changes ar made; but, for the
most part, they ar changes that most persons hav recognized as at least theo-
retically desirable. The most determind opponents of simplified spelling
hav to admit that k is silent in knack, knock, and knot; that the w is silent in
wrath, wreath, and wrong; that the final d is pronounst t in advanced, danced,
convinced, etc.; and that the gh is pronounst/in rough, tough, cough, trough, etc.
That is to say, the opponents of improved spelling admit the bad conditions;
they simply object to the improvement of those conditions.
In considering these new spellings, do not be too much influenst by the 'od'
appearance of the word. Any change must look od at first. Consider, rather
whether the change would bring a real gain, if the public should accept it.
Consider whether the change is in the right direction — the direction of simpli-
city, economy, regularity, reason.
Consider also whether you hav had much personal experience of simplified
spelling upon which to base a judgment. Those persons who hav actually
used, in their publications, or in the circulars and catalogs of the institutions
which they control, all the simplified forms recommended by the Board, hav
not reported any case of failure, or any serius opposition. Ar you sure that you
would be opposed ? Ar you sure that you would be defeated ? They who try
ar apt to win.
In publishing this Fourth List, the Simplified Spelling Board and its
Advisory Council and the many thousand professors, teachers, superintendents,
clergymen, lawyers, fysicians, and other supporters for whom they speak,
declare their desire to bring about an improvement in English spelling, in this
396 TEE ENGLISH JOURNAL
way, in these words, here and now. Many of these influential persons wil be
using these new spellings the rest of their lives. Some of them hav been
using these spellings for years. And allowing for the necessary, and indeed
desirable, proportion of criticism and dout which always accompanies new
proposals, we may say that this great body of educated men and women, no
matter in what degree they use the simplified spellings themselvs, wil hereafter
advise teachers to teach and children to use these new spellings.
It matters not that the use of new spellings wil be, in many cases, inter-
mittent and variable. It is so in the application of all new ideas. It is no
more important that any one shal be unvarying in his use of new spellings than
in his use of old spellings. In a period of new action, uniformity is not to be
expected or desired. Reform is not routine; and even in the routine of daily
life it is variation that givs interest and life to the routine.
It wil be seen that some of these proposals, like previus proposals, involv a
simplification of only a part of a word, as of a suffix at the end of many hundred
words which may contain in the middle varius irrational digrafs or anomalus
combinations of letters that can not, in the present state of opinion, be alterd
with any prospect of success.
To keep within limits, the rules and comments ar brief, and the larger
classes of words ar represented only by caracteristic examples. Let it be
understood that the Board is prepared to state all the reasons, historic, filologic,
and educational, for each rule, to giv ful lists of the words affected, and to
cite authority for all the statements of fact. Any inquirer may get information
by asking for it.
If no rule is found referring to a particular clas of words, it wil be under-
stood that words of this clas hav been included in the rules of simplification
heretofore adopted by the Board and ar enterd in the combined Alfabetic List
(March, 1909), or else hav not yet been simplified. The classes not yet acted
upon constitute the problems of the future. But in the mean time certain
undouted simplifications which do not fall under the general rules, but which
hav been approved by the Board in the course of discussion, may be used with-
out hesitation. Such ar: Anser, frend, morgage, yoman, for answer, friend,
mortgage, yeoman. Indeed, no discreet frend of progress need hesitate now
to use other simplifications that ar obviously in accord with the general policy
of the Board.
All the rules for simplification herein or heretofore recommended by the
Board ar applied in this circular wherever the words affected occur. It wil be
seen that the rules, even when thus fully applied, do not greatly alter the
appearance of the page. Let the reader judge whether these paragrafs cause
for him any difficulty.
One Hundred Specimen Words in Simplified Spelling
This List of One Hundred Specimen Words in Simplified Spelling is
printed by the Simplified Spelling Board for the use of those persons who wish
to hav at hand a short list of typical simplified forms.
NEWS AND NOTES
The interests of the National Council of Teachers of English continue
to deepen and multiply, as evidenced by the organization of new com-
mittees and the extension of the work of those already established.
Walter Barnes, assistant principal and teacher of English in the normal
school at Glenville, W.Va., has undertaken to direct the work of a com-
mittee on English in the country schools. His articles on this topic have
been running for some months in several of the state educational journals
and must be exceedingly suggestive.
A committee on plays for schools and colleges is in process of organi-
zation. There is a rapidly growing demand for information as to the use
of acting plays, the writing of plays, the study of recent plays, etc., both
in colleges and in schools. It will be the mission of this committee to
gather up and make available, through the English Journal, the experi-
ence of teachers in different parts of the country. The co-operation of
398 THE ENGLISH JOURNAL
other organizations and of playwrights, actors, and critics will be sought.
Suggestions for the committee may be addressed to the English
A report on the preparation of teachers of English will be compiled by
the committee of which Franklin T. Baker, of Teachers College,
Columbia University, is chairman. Professor Baker's article in this num-
ber of the Journal, which is a resume of his address before the Council at
the recent Philadelphia meeting, will indicate some of the questions with
which the committee has to deal. In this connection it should be
announced that the New England Association of Teachers of English has
appointed a committee to report on this same topic; also that the
Committee on the Preparation of College Teachers of English which was
authorized by the Modern Language Association has been accepted by
the National Council and will have the co-operation of that body. The
membership of this committee has been completed by the addition of
John M. Clapp, professor of English in Lake Forest College, Ashley
H. Thorndike, executive secretary of the department of English in
Columbia University, and John L. Lowes, head of the department of
English in Washington University, St. Louis.
The Joint Committee on an English Syllabus has been divided into
subcommittees for the purpose of developing the details of the different
parts of the English course. The chairmen of these subcommittees are
as follows: on Oral English, E. W. Smith, Hamilton, N.Y.; on Composi-
tion Projects in Grades Seven to Nine, C. W. Evans, East Orange, N.J.;
on Composition Projects in Grades Ten to Twelve, Mae McKitrick,
Cleveland, Ohio; on Choice of Literature for Grades Seven to Nine,
R. T. Congdon, Albany, N.Y.; on Choice of Literature for Grades
Ten to Twelve, C. S. Thomas, Newtonville, Mass.; on Attainment at the
End of the Sixth Grade, E. T. Reed, Corvallis, Ore. A preliminary
report, setting forth the general plan of the committee and the problems
which it is attempting to work out, will be made to the English Round
Table of the National Education Association at Salt Lake City in
The Committee on the Labor and Cost of Composition Teaching has
been enlarged and the scope of its work extended so as to include elemen-
tary schools. A final report with regard to high schools has recently
been published and may be obtained for six cents postpaid of the Depart-
ment of Journalism Press, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan. This
is a significant document and should be placed in the hands of school
officials everywhere. The concluding paragraphs are in part as follows:
NEWS AND NOTES 399
First, and most conclusively established, the initial step toward increasing
the efficiency of English composition teaching, the one thing that is essential in
all cases, whatever else may prove to be necessary, is to reduce the average
number of pupils assigned to English composition teachers in all schools to a
proper laboratory standard. The reason why this reduction is the initial step
toward higher efficiency, and in all cases the essential step, is because, no matter
how favorable other conditions may be, without this reduction high efficiency
is a physical impossibility.
Second, the cost of taking this step will not be prohibitive; it will merely
give English composition, adjudged the most important of all laboratory sub-
jects, its proper place among such subjects in the school budget, as any scientific
system of standardization must do. Now it stands at the very bottom, worst
paid and worst equipped of all, if not the last considered, relegated to the com-
pany of textbook subjects and without financial honor even among them. Full
recognition will not make it the most expensive subject, because it requires, not
elaborate buildings and apparatus, but merely an adequate supply of books and
teachers, with simple illustrative material.
Third, after this step is taken, others may then prove to be necessary in
some cases: such as (a) the standardizing of the preparation and the skill of
English teachers; (6) the determining of the relative efficiency of various
methods under varying conditions, as for instance of oral and written training;
(c) the establishing of the definite and required co-operation of other teachers
with English teachers; and (d) the co-ordinating of the English work of all
schools from the lowest to the highest. But with the present average assign-
ment of pupils, it is established that the best teacher using the best methods
cannot secure high efficiency, except by overwork with its inevitable results,
and even thus for a limited period only. It may for emphasis be repeated that
the thing that chiefly matters in the teaching of English composition is not the
number or the size of individual classes, but as in any other laboratory subject,
the total number of students assigned to a teacher; though incidentally within
certain limits smaller classes are preferable to larger ones, even for efficient
In the progress of the investigation, further details appear to be sanctioned
by the opinions of a majority of teachers reporting. For instance, in secondary
schools English schedule time should be about equally divided between litera-
ture and composition, both subjects preferably taught by the same teacher to
the same pupils. A prevailing practice is to give composition two days a week
and literature three; but exceptions are numerous. Laboratory practice, it is
said, should be about equally divided between oral and written work; not
necessarily both in the same week, but with a certain weekly average minimum
of written work. Composition sections should not exceed 20 students each,
and a smaller number is preferable, especially in oral training. Ample time
should be provided for private personal conference between instructor and
pupils, for both oral and written work, all counted and paid for as teaching time,
400 TEE ENGLISH JOURNAL
thus greatly lessening the necessity and labor of theme correcting, and increas-
ing efficiency by a ratio greatly exceeding the necessary increase in cost.
Without enumerating other topics which necessarily will be fully and
authoritatively covered in the forthcoming report of the National Education
Association committee, it will be noted that even the few points stated raise
further questions of the utmost importance, to which answers cannot be found
too soon. Perhaps the most pressing of these is the question as to the relative
time necessary in oral and written training respectively to obtain fairly equiva-
lant results in each. Each serves its own ends, and neither can be replaced by
the other, but each aids the other in certain respects. This question has a
most important bearing upon the problems of labor and cost discussed in this
report. So far as it can be answered by a consensus of opinion, the answer is
almost unanimous that oral training takes more time, while of course greatly
lessening the burden of theme correction. English teachers' associations in two
states are now making a special study of this problem; in one instance making
a comparative study of the conditions as they are found, and in the other con-
ducting a carefully organized experimental test. A fairly definite and conclu-
sive answer may therefore be expected within a reasonable time.
Another question that must sometime be answered, and the sooner the
better, is that relating to the feasibility of requiring the co-operation in all
schools of all other teachers with the teachers of English, and the nature of the
results that maybe expected. It seems plausible if not indeed probable that after
establishing ideal conditions of efficiency in the English classroom, the influence
of other classes, the playground, the street, and the home, may after all by mere
preponderance of time largely nullify the English teacher's work. While it is
true that they cannot under improved conditions nullify it in the same measure
that they now do, and that it may be possible to secure high efficiency in spite
of them, it is also true that the facts should be ascertained and passed upon.
An organized effort to do so has not yet been made, though there have been a
few individual experiments. Those in which co-operation was occasional and
purely voluntary seem invariably to have failed; and so have those in which the
English of other classes was passed on and graded by the English teacher;
because in neither have other teachers assumed real responsibility. But in one
experiment now in progress in a secondary school, it is made a part of the
regular duty of all other teachers to supervise the English of their classes accord-
ing to specific and simple instructions, whatever the subject may be, and to
report grades on English to the English department, to be taken into account
in the final English estimate. This experiment promises to be successful; it
has been in operation long enough to demonstrate that it produces very appar-
ent good results in English without increasing expense in other departments.
The same school has found an even more marked improvement in results to
follow from reducing the total number of students assigned to an English teacher
in accordance with the data published by this committee. This number varies
from 60 to 50; each teacher averages not more than 17 recitations weekly, and
NEWS AND NOTES 401
spends 12 to 15 hours weekly in private conference with pupils and 5 hours in
theme-reading. The proportion of oral to written exercises is 5 to 1 ; written
exercises average 300 words a week for each pupil, and delivery of oral exercises
requires 10 or 15 minutes a week from each pupil. To introduce the system
increased the previous cost of teaching not above 25 per cent, while the number
of failures compared with that of neighboring schools in the same period has
been reduced one-half. This in general terms is to say that with regard to one
single point an increase of not to exceed 25 per cent in expense has led to an
increase of 100 per cent in efficiency. 1
The National Speech Arts Association will hold its annual convention
in Washington, D.C., during the week beginning Monday, June 30, 1913.
The program includes recitals by Mrs. Hannibal A. Williams, of Cam-
bridge, N.Y., Henry G. Hawn, of New York City, Emma L. Ostrander,
of Forest Glen, Md., Grace E. Makepeace, of Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs.
Bertha Eldridge, of Rochester, N.Y., Robert W. Van Kirk, of West
Newton, Mass., Margaret Stahl, of Fremont, Ohio, Henry G. Houghton,
of Tiffin, Ohio, Nancy Barbee, of Louisville, Ky., and Edith F. Kunz, of
New Brighton, N.Y.
The following papers and addresses are announced: "The Alleged
Passing of the Orator," Rev. George E. Reed, of Wilmington, Del.;
"The Spoken Word in the Drama," Lemuel B. C. Josephs, New York
City; "Responsibility and Opportunity," R. E. P. Kline, Chicago;
"A New Field of Labor for the Speech Artist," Katherine Eggleston,
New York City; "A Lesson from Carlyle," John P. Silvernail, Rochester,
N.Y.; "A Plea for Specially Trained Supervisors of Oral English in
Public Schools," Laura E. Aldrich, Cincinnati, Ohio; "The Lyric Art,"
Mrs. Glenna S. Tinnin, Washington, D.C.; "The Spoken Word in the
Pulpit," J. Woodman Babbit, Princeton, N.J.; "The Place of Speech
Training in General Education," Frederick B. Robinson, New York City;
"The Relation of Expression in the Normal School to Reading in the
Grades," Amelia F. Lucas, Milwaukee, Wis.; "Materials for Speech
1 The school referred to, here named by permission, is the J. Sterling Morton High
School of Cicero, 111., Principal H. V. Church. The following statement regarding its
English work is quoted from the letter of a recent visitor: "I never saw the like before
in any school. No doubt a similar condition might be found in some high grade private
schools, but this is a public high school, in a community largely inhabited by foreigners,
a school in which few of the pupils come from wealthy families It is the system,
beyond all question, which has produced the results." In introducing the "system"
Mr. Church has had the effective support and approval of all his teachers of other
subjects as well as of English. See report in English Journal for March, 1913, p. 185.
402 THE ENGLISH JOURNAL
Training in Public Schools," Charles A. Dawson, Syracuse, N.Y.; "The
Common Ground of the English and Dramatic Departments," Jane
Herendeen, New York City; "The Psychology of Speech," G. Hudson-
Maknew, Philadelphia, Pa.; "Standardization in the Speech Arts
Profession," Caroline B. Phelps, Raleigh, N.C.; "How Can We Make
Universal the Teaching of the Fundamental Principles of Vocal Expres-
sion?" Mary A. Blood, Chicago; "The Relation of Music to Public
Speaking," Leonard B. McWhord, Madison, N.J.; "Courses in the
Literature of Oratory," C. D. Hardy, Evanston, 111. The topics of the
papers by Edwin D. Shurter, of Austin, Tex., and J. L. Lardner, of
Evanston, 111., are to be supplied.
The Speech Arts Association is a society of long standing and estab-
lished reputation. It was organized in 1892 and has held conventions in
most of the principal cities of the country. Its purposes are both educa-
tional and social; the mornings are devoted to discussion, the afternoons
to sightseeing and amusements, the evenings to recitals. The officers
include Livingston Barbour, of Rutgers College, president, Grace E.
Makepeace, Cleveland, Ohio, secretary, Mrs. George Frankel, Portland,
Ore., treasurer, and John P. Silvernail, Rochester, N.Y., chairman of the
Board of Directors.
The summer meeting of the National Education Association will be
held in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 5-11. Low rates have been granted
by the railroads, and side trips are well provided for. Teachers of
English will be interested in the programs of the Secondary Department
and the English Round Table as well as in that of the National Council,
of which one or more sessions will be held. Some of the topics to be
discussed are "The Proposed National Syllabus," "A Working Plan of
Co-operation in Teaching English," "Developing a Feeling of Respon-
sibility," "The Use of Contemporary Writing."
The publishing board of the American Library Association has
decided to issue the A.L.A. Book List from the Chicago office, beginning
with September. A corps of readers is in process of organizing, and the
value of the publication will be greater, if possible, than heretofore. It
is said to be the purchasing guide of thousands of librarians.
The office of the national Commissioner of Education is rendering an
important service to the teachers of the country by publishing monthly,
BOOK NOTICES 403
in addition to numerous special bulletins embodying reports and expert
studies, a Monthly Record of Current Educational Publications. The
Record is compiled and annotated by the Library Division, under the
direction of John D. Wolcott.
The Interstate Schoolman has been combined with the Kansas School
Magazine. The latter is one of the best of the general educational
periodicals and should be still better under the new arrangement.
Edgar F. Riley is editor and J. H. Glotfelter, business manager.
The bulletins, or leaflets, issued by some of the state associations of
English teachers are often worthy of a wider circulation than they receive.
The Illinois Bulletin for April is devoted to an excellent statement of the
"Problems of the High-School Play" by T. H. Guild, of the University of
Illinois. The New England Leaflet for May presents a very suggestive
article on "Creating Responsibility" by Mabel Coolidge, of the Newton
High School, Newtonville, Mass.
[Mention under this head does not preclude review elsewhere.]
Patience, a West Midland Poem of the Fourteenth Century. Edited with Intro-
duction, Bibliography, Notes, and Glossary by Hartley Bateson. New
York: Longmans, 1 913. Pp. 150. $1.50.
The Early Life of George Eliot. By Mary H. Deakin. With an Introductory
Note by C. H. Herford. New York: Longmans, 1913. Pp. 188.
This and the preceding are Nos. Ill and IV of the "English Series" issued by the
University of Manchester.
Songs and Ballads of Greater Britain. Compiled by E. A. Helps. New York:
E. P. Dutton, 1913. Pp. 360. $1. 50.
The poems in this volume are by authors in Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
South Africa, East and West India, Jamaica, and Ceylon. The work presents a
great variety of interests but is permeated with the spirit of British imperialism.
The author has performed a service in making so many scattered productions easily
How to Write an Essay. By W. T. Webb. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1013.
Pp. 195. $0. 50.
Intended as a guide for those preparing to take examinations. A brief outline of
theory is followed by a series of sample outlines and essays built upon them.